The tearing of garments and putting on sackcloth are common acts mentioned together in the Hebrew Bible. The author argues that these customs exhibit a tendency in religious observances to revert to the ways of an earlier time.
6 x 9
The tearing of garments and putting on of sackcloth are common acts mentioned together in the Hebrew Bible as to make it evident that the two rites are closely connected with one another. The substitution of the sackcloth in place of ordinary garments represents the concession made to the ancient custom of stripping oneself, by an age which gradually came to look upon nakedness as a synonym for disgrace and dishonor. The author’s main argument is that there exists a general tendency in religious observances to revert to the ways and manners of an earlier time period. Morris Jastrow believes that the tearing off of clothing is not primarily a funeral or mourning custom specifically, but a ceremony observed in connection with religious rites, prompted by the general tendency to preserve in such ceremonies the methods of primitive days. He concludes that this is specifically a Hebrew mourning custom.